Man seduces thief to get back his stolen iPhone

Every so often you come across a crazy tech-related story, and this one involves a guy who managed to get his stolen iPhone back by seducing the thief via online dating service OKCupid. Nadav Nirenberg accidentally left his iPhone 4 in a taxi on New Year's Eve in New York City, and later he discovered that said phone was being used because OKCupid began to send him alerts as the thief began to message girls.

So what did he do to get his phone back? Well he created a fake girl profile on the dating service of course! According to the New York Post, Nirenberg used alluring photos of a woman on the fake profile to seduce the thief, which then eventually resulted in a date at the "girl's" house. Apparently the thief was still using a photo of Nirenberg on the service, and to get the thief to believe he was a girl, Nirenberg used "lots of winks and smiley faces" in his messages.

While the thief was ready for a date with the sexy girl, wielding a bottle of wine, Nirenberg was there with a hammer to ruin his night. The date lasted 20 seconds, Nirenberg handed over $20 to securely get his phone back, and the thief walked away undoubtedly embarrassed.

Source: New York Post via: CNET
Man with flower/computer image via Shutterstock

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44 Comments

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Why would that guy on a date knowing he doesn't look like the guy in the dating profile. Sounds a little fishy.

I guess find my iphone wasn't working for him and reporting it stolen wasn't an option. Really an iP4, what he can't afford a better phone.

So the thief used the ok Cupid app already on the phone, and didn't try to create a new profile?? Seems too coincidental to be true.

-T- said,
So the thief used the ok Cupid app already on the phone, and didn't try to create a new profile?? Seems too coincidental to be true.
Or too convenient.
Imagine the person uses the existing profile to lure an unsuspecting victim, then ambushes them committing robbery, rape or murder.
Who would be the first suspect?

well whatever happened to GPS tracking that's involved and required in all US phones as of the 90's? cops could do a trace via GPS

ChrisJ1968 said,
well whatever happened to GPS tracking that's involved and required in all US phones as of the 90's? cops could do a trace via GPS

Most likely something to do with the fact GPS is not required. What is required is that carriers provide location services accurate to within 50 feet before 2018. Carriers can utilize GPS, network triangulation (E991) or even some other means, alone or in combination with each other.

Then there's the questions of whether the carrier is wiling to participate if the customer calls in for assistance or if the police can get a warrant.

If this story is true besides being strange but it's also dangerous. He should have called the police. The strange thing was handing him money for his own property. Makes we wonder how real it is.

To all those saying this is not theft, I suppose that:
... if I left my wallet in the taxi, you found it and used my credit cards, that's not theft?
... if I left my car keys at the airport, you found them, used the alarm to locate it and drove around, that's not theft?

That's how much respect you have for your fellow human beings?

No wonder the world is as it is.

Sorry, this is not stealing. Give it to the cab driver? I'm sure he would track down the rightful owner and give it to him. Give me a break.

TheArgonaut said,
Sorry, this is not stealing.

If you don't know what a word means then you shouldn't use it.

Steal - To take (the property of another) without right or permission.

no no no, he was stealing it the wrong way!! first you wipe the phone clean, then you let it cool down 3 months keeping it off

Most people don't know the SIM card from the battery. (Seriously. The battery.)
Tell someone to wipe a phone, and they'll probably reach for a cloth.

Also, considering we're talking about theives, my experience puts them on the lower end of the intelligence scale. (If they were any higher, they wouldn't be thieves now would they?)

so he invited a thief to HIS house, showed him the inside of the house, got his phone back but also gave in 20 bucks?
he's lucky it didnt turn nasty

I fail to see how the guy was a thief and had stolen it, He found it as it was left in a taxi, sure he could have handed it in to police but seriously it wasn't taken from him the guy was stupid enough to leave it in a taxi

He was a thief because he took it and used it himself. If he had left it where it was, handed it to the taxi driver or taken it and tried to return it to its' rightful owner then he wouldn't have been a thief.

In the UK that is called "Theft by Finding" which is a criminal offence. The person who found the phone, kept it in the knowledge it wasn't his. In other words..a thief!

Fubar said,
I fail to see how the guy was a thief and had stolen it, He found it as it was left in a taxi, sure he could have handed it in to police but seriously it wasn't taken from him the guy was stupid enough to leave it in a taxi

If you find money unattended and you have no way to track the owner then it's not theft to take it; if it's a large amount then it should be handed into the police, who will usually let you keep it if nobody comes forward for it. However, if you find an object like a phone and don't hand it it to the police or report it to a member of staff where you found it then that's theft, as it's very much easier to track the owner.

I honestly can't believe that there are people who can think that finding a phone entitles you to keep it. It's sad that so many people are so depraved. You people make me sick. The guy was clumsy for losing his phone but that doesn't mean he should forfeit ownership of it.

If you find money unattended and you have no way to track the owner then it's not theft to take it

It is still "Theft by Finding" if you keep it.
As you said, you should hand it to the Police, and if it is not claimed within a certain time, then, and only then, will it legally become yours to keep. Until such time arrives, the item is NOT yours to keep.
It's as simple as that.

artnada said,

It is still "Theft by Finding" if you keep it.
As you said, you should hand it to the Police, and if it is not claimed within a certain time, then, and only then, will it legally become yours to keep. Until such time arrives, the item is NOT yours to keep.
It's as simple as that.

Yep.

I think one of the main reasons for this law is that just because something is unattended doesn't mean it's lost.

For example, in my city there have been a lot of lead thefts from fields, farmland etc. that was left unattended, but that doesn't mean that the owner doesn't know it's there.

IMO you are. Most smartphones when not locked will have ample clues to who owns it and there are certainly ways to easily find out who the owner is. So if you then knowingly keep and start using another persons phone you are a thief yes.

You are a thief if you handle goods which aren't your own. Claiming you've 'found it' is an unconvincing argument, especially if you don't put in any effort to notify the owner.
I've handed in at least 2 iPhone's and Blackberry's into railway security as people tend to be tired, rush for their train and leave them. I don't want to make their day more crappy by keeping it.

imachip said,
I've handed in at least 2 iPhone's and Blackberry's into railway security as people tend to be tired, rush for their train and leave them. I don't want to make their day more crappy by keeping it.

Thank you for (momentarily) restoring my faith in humanity.

Although I've never actually lost a phone (i-/smart- or otherwise), my sister's certainly on the "accelerated replacement program", if you catch my meaning.

My entire family was incredulous after she lost her phone on transit, and some awesome person like you took the time to turn it in at transit lost and found.

So please continue being awesome and never stop being a decent human being.

Geranium_Z__NL said,
well actually it wasnt a thief. He just found his phone in a cab.?

...And took it? Then didn't return it? THIEVERY!

M_Lyons10 said,

...And took it? Then didn't return it? THIEVERY!

Unsecured and unattended is not thievery.

His fault he left his phone in the cab anyways. But glad he got it back.

Dinggus said,
Unsecured and unattended is not thievery.

Taking an item with the intent to deprive the owner of it is theft. There is absolutely no ambiguity in such a situation, as otherwise the person would have handed the phone into the police or given to the taxi driver. Scumbags are scumbags.